Monday, November 11, 2013

Ensign v. Walls case brief

Ensign v. Walls case brief summary
34 N.W.2d 549 (Mich. 1948)

Plaintiff neighbors brought suit against defendant business owner, claiming that her business constituted a nuisance as to them and their property and seeking injunctive relief. The trial court (Michigan) enjoined the continuation of the business after 90 days and required the business owner to abate the nuisance. The business owner appealed from the judgment.


The neighbors alleged that the dog kennel constituted a nuisance because of the foul odors and continual barking. They sought to have the owner enjoined from conducting her business on the premises. The business owner countered that her business did not constitute a nuisance and that it existed long enough that she had acquired a prescriptive right to continue. She challenged the trial court's judgment in favor of the neighbors.


  • On appeal, the court held that 
  • (1) facts justified the trial court's finding that the business constituted a nuisance as to the neighbors, 
  • (2) for the action to be barred by a prescriptive right, the nuisance had to have been continued in substantially the same way, and with equally injurious results, for the entire statutory period, 
  • (3) the business owner did not show that her business was carried on in the same manner, to the same extent, and with the same results insofar as the resulting injuries to others were concerned during the entire period which she claimed her prescriptive right was acquired, and 
  • (4) new neighbors would be moving in and the injurious results of the nuisance would increase in the future.


The court affirmed the trial court's judgment enjoining the business owner's continued operation of her business.

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